Remember being a teenager and whining about the times when your life was boring? Boring was a fate worse than death.
Nowadays with two kids in college and one still at home in high school, I relish the quiet life. I strive for tranquility, especially when I am alone, as though I am recharging an inner battery, so that I'll have a reservoir of calm and logic from which I can draw in times of chaos.
On Saturday, my son in Florida called to tell me that he had a terrible pain in his head, and that he'd had it for two days, and it wouldn't go away. May not seem like a big deal to some, but this is coming from a kid who has a tremendously high threshold for pain. As an example, when he was five years old, he stubbed the top of his toe almost completely off whilst playing outside, with the flesh barely hanging on by a proverbial thread; or was it a vein? I've got a strong stomach, but the site of my little boy's gray and bloody flesh nearly made me toss my cookies. I ran inside to get the first aid kit, and when I returned, he had removed the dangling piece of toe. He matter of factly said he did it because he knew it was going to have to come off, and that it couldn't possibly heal.
Throughout this entire episode, he never shed a tear. Nor did he cry when he needed stitches as a two year-old, nor when he caught his hand on a bike wheel, etc. He did cry, however, when his sea monkies died (Damn those idiots who sell sea monkies!) as he thought he had failed the creatures by not caring for them properly. He HAD taken care of them, but they died suddenly when they got too big and needed a filter, which we didn't know about.
So if he ever complains about something physical, it makes me crazy, especially because I am not there to take him to a doctor, get him some medicine, and feed him properly. As of today, he's finally off to see a doctor.
Second child, who has never, ever been in any kind of trouble called shortly afterwards. She too lives out of town at the University, although only an hour away. She knows that when she calls me at an odd hour she needs to start any conversation with "Everything is fine." Once I hear that, and my heart stops pounding, I can converse. For this phone call, she started off with "Don't worry, I am not in any real trouble, but I'm just now leaving the police station." Turns out that the police erroneously ticketed her car for parking violations. Whew!
Better than the time last semester when the police shone a flashlight in her sleeping face as they raided her dorm room at 3 a.m. for drugs belonging to her suite mates, prompting her to up and move to different lodgings on the double, since she does not drink, smoke or do drugs.
Then there's my elderly parents. My mother calls me several times each day to ask for advice. She called last week to tell me that my father had received a letter informing him that he had won $125, 000! The letter told him to keep this stellar news quiet, and to send the prize-givers $2000 to cover the U.S. taxes. She suspected it was a hoax and read me the letter. I was stunned to hear how well-worded the letter was. I reminded her what her mother, my Nana, used to say, "There's no such thing as a free lunch!" Unfortunately, my mother found out that three elderly people in the area had succumbed to temptation and sent off their money.
Time for me to put on the kettle, make a cuppa, give the rats a rib-rub, and rejoice that all is good: everyone in my family is healthy or on the way to the physician, no one is in the klink, and for now, my parents have not been defrauded. What a deliciously boring moment I will enjoy!